January 31, 2012

What I Loved in the 80's-Game Shows!

I consider myself lucky, when I was a kid in the 80’s; talk shows had yet to dominate the daytime schedule. Instead when I was home during the week I got to watch awesome game shows! I loved these shows, they were fun to watch and even the theme songs are amazing. They are much more fun than the trashy talk shows that are on now. So, here is a look at some of my favorites from that great era. 

The Price is Right
The granddaddy of all game shows. It amazes me that this show has been on the air, every weekday at 11:00am, since two years before I was born! If I was home from school, than this show was part of my morning. Bob Barker may be the best emcee in the world, and those beauties weren't bad to lack at either. I guess the appeal is simple, bid on merchandise and if you get it right (or close enough), you win cool prizes! I could do a whole article just on this show, you know all the games, the fast money round, the famous “Come on down!” This show as pure fun, however I stopped watching when Drew Carey took over, I can't stand him.

January 29, 2012

Eight Great Songs From Not So Great Movies

During Christmas I did an article about some Christmas songs that are almost better than the movies they came from. The thing is, it doesn't have to be a Christmas song/movie for this to happen. Plenty of great songs come from less than stellar films. In fact, a lot of these songs become so famous you outright forget they were in a movie at all. So, here is a little look at eight great songs from not so great movies.

8."Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” from Mannequin. This has to be the dumbest movie. The story is about Anthony McCarthy falling in love with a mannequin which can come to life. As silly as this movie is, the song featured in it is just a classic, and it’s nice for Starship to have a decent song,

7.”There You’ll Be” from Pearl Harbor. Who says you have to follow history if you’re making an historical film? Pearl Harbor wanted to do what Titanic did, romanticize an incredible tragedy. It missed with its bad acting, crappy effects, boring story, and historical inaccuracies. However, it does leave behind the nice little song from Faith Hill.

6.”Kiss From a Rose” from Batman Forever. Say what you want about Batman Forever, some like it and others hate it, this song is pretty cool. I admit to a little hesitation putting this one here, not really sure if people immediately associate these two. However, the song was on the soundtrack so I guess it counts. Seal give one great song, the movie was….Ok.

5.”I Don't Want to Miss a Thing” from Armageddon-Armageddon was a loud, noisy mess. However, it does have one thing going for it. This song is pretty awesome. Aerosmith is very take it or leave it with me, and I enjoy this tune every time it comes on. The movie, that's another story!

4.”Gangsta's Paradise” from Criminal Minds- I thought I would mix things up by putting this on here. I hate these kinds of songs, but this one works for me (maybe because Weird Al Yankovick did a fantastic parody of it). The movie is about a white marine female who takes a job a very urban school. Coolio's song is great, fits the mood perfectly, and for me to like this song says A LOT!

3.”I Will Always Love You” from The Bodyguard. One of the movies everyone forgets Kevin Costner made. He starred in this movie with Whitney Houston (yes, that's right). The idea was simple, he was her bodyguard but then they start getting romantic. Too bad there was no chemistry between the two. I never saw the whole film, but must have seen the music video a hundred times. The song was a smash hit. The movie? Well....

2.”I Just Called to Say I Love You” from The Lady In Red. Pretty sad when a song reminds me of a Cosby Show episode rather than the film the song was written for. Stevie Wonder wrote this great song; unfortunately the Gene Wilder film it was featured in was less than memorable. It was basically just a romantic comedy,and has been pretty much forgotten. The song is a classic however.

1.”Because You Loved Me” from Up Close and Personal. Does anyone remember this movie? This little romantic drama starred Michelle Pfeifer and Robert Redford. It’s a great example of how having two amazing actors does not a great movie make. As forgettable as the film is, it did leave behind this memorable song which started the rise of Celine Dion (a rise which would spike a few years later when she did the theme in Titanic).

Of course keeping this list at eight kept a lot of great songs off. It was real hard to pick the best, and I had to leave a lot off. Did I miss your favorite?

January 28, 2012

Analytical Episode Guide-Seinfeld (Season 2, Part 3)

An Analytical Viewer's Guide to :

Season  2, Part 3

Episode 11, Season 2
The Heart Attack
Plot Summary-George thinks he is having a heart attack, turns out he needs his tonsils out even though he already had them out when he was young. Fearing an operation, George lets Kramer take him to a holistic healer who proceeds to make him even sicker. Jerry tries to figure out what he wrote late at night when he heard something funny, and Elaine becomes attracted to George's doctor and goes on a date with him, only to have it revealed that he has a fetish for tongues, causing her to break up with him.
Best Quote-“Meningitis? Scoliosis? Lupus? Is it Lupus?!”…..George
Nitpick of the episode-The whole ambulance scene is totally absurd. First of all, why is George purple? Second, why are the ambulance drivers fighting over Chuckles? And it’s not little argument, they are fighting like mad dogs about this. Way over the top. Then they stop the ambulance and get out having a fist fight. Really?????? The ambulance winds up crashing, and we get the hilarious site gag of Jerry in a neck brace. Groan!!!!!!!!!!!
Seinfeldism of the episode- Maybe the first time we hear about a real life product, Chuckles, too bad it’s so lame!!!
Deleted Scenes-There was a whole sub-story with Elaine and a Reader’s Digest which got cut, the opening was originally longer.
Episode Fun Fact-Larry David puts in his first of several on screen cameos, he did many appearances and voice’s over the course of the series.
Final Thoughts-Here it is, the one episode I dreaded having to watch when I decided to do these. Simply put, I HATED HATED HATED this episode! The first time I saw it, I couldn’t believe what I was watching. It is just so ridiculous. Ok, to be fair I can understand how the idea of George thinking he is having a heart attack could be funny, and the first scene in Monk’s is pretty good, but, wow! A holistic healer? I already complained about the ambulance scene, and then the fact George needs his tonsils out is just dumb (and I am not even getting into the whole growing back thing, maybe they can I don’t know). For a series that is supposed to about real life, this doesn’t come close. Nothing in this episode works. The characters don’t even feel right, Elaine’s story is just gross, and Jerry’s story just falls flat in the end.
Grade=F (think I explained why)

Episode 12, Season 2
The Revenge
Plot Summary- George impulsively quits his job, and then regrets the decision. Jerry convinces him to go back as if nothing happened but he gets fired. George plans to get revenge on his boss by drugging him and spoiling a big anniversary party. Meanwhile, Jerry thinks he lost money at a Laundromat and Kramer schemes to dump cement into a washing machine as revenge.
Best Quote-“Why pass up the opportunity to go to prison?”…..Elaine
Nitpick of the episode-And the guy didn’t realize what Kramer was doing because????
Seinfeldism of the episode-George decides to slip his boss a “mickey”, Jerry doesn’t want to mix his clothes with Kramer’s because “my guys don’t know your guys”.
Deleted Scenes-None in this episode.
Episode Fun Fact-Larry David actually did quite his job at SNL and then walked back in, but it worked out for him. Also, this episode is the first time we hear about Newman. We don’t see him, only hear him. In the original air for this show Larry David did the voice but when the episode was syndicated Wayne Knight redubbed the dialogue, so he would always be Newman.
Final Thoughts-This episode has a very relatable premise, who hasn’t wanted to get revenge on someone who did them wrong? Since its Seinfeld, both attempts backfire and Jerry and George are the one’s burned. But that is the way the show worked. The only problem is that Kramer and Elaine don’t really have stories; they are part of Jerry and George’s story. Although we do get out first mention of Newman.
Grade=B-, Not bad at all.

Episode 3, Season 13
The Deal
Plot Summary-Jerry and Elaine try to find a way they can remain friends but also pursue a sexual relationship. It doesn’t work out very well, after Jerry gives Elaine a bad birthday gift they decide the relationship isn’t working. Jerry and George discuss the situation Jerry decides he has to try again. The last scene is Elaine coming out of Jerry’s bedroom. George and Kramer have no story.
Best Quote-“Now you listen to me. I want details, and I want them right now. I don’t have a job, I have no place to go. You’re not in the mood? Well you get in the mood!”….George to Jerry
Nitpick of the episode-I have to say, Elaine sure doesn’t hold up her end of the deal.
Seinfeldism of the episode-Jerry and Elaine try to find a way to keep “that” (their sexual relationship) from interfering with “this” (their friendship). Ok, you need to see the scene to appreciate this one.
Deleted Scenes-None in this episode.
Episode Fun Fact-This is the only Seinfeld episode to have a scene with real emotion, when Jerry and Elaine discuss the ending of their physical relationship. Also, in the scene where Kramer gives Elaine the bench Jerry’s door keeps opening and closing between shots.
Final Thoughts-This episode has a lot of funny moments. First the very well done scene where Jerry and Elaine try to work out their arrangement and then the scene in the coffee shop when Jerry tells George about what happened is a classic George moment. However, the romantic story kind of bogs down the show. If you ever wondered why Jerry and Elaine didn’t get together, just watch this episode. It changes the whole dynamic. The creators must have realized it to, because despite how this show ends in the next episode Jerry and Elaine and once again just friends.
Grade=B+, Not bad but definitely an early episode

Just 3 episodes this week as we conclude season 2. The season started slowly, but after Seinfeld moved behind Cheers on Thursday’s the show took off. Thankfully, season 2 did well enough that NBC ordered a full season for the next year. Next week, we will begin our look at season 3.

January 26, 2012

Sitcom Face Off-Family Ties vs Growing Pains

Another Sitcom face-off, where I take two similar sitcoms and decide which one is better than the other. Today we have:
Ah, the 80’s. Great time for family comedies. Family Ties debuted in 1982, and a few years later ABC premiered Growing Pains. What you may not know is that ABC intended Growing Pains to be their version of Family Ties; in fact the first few episodes of Growing Pains closely mirrored the format on Family Ties. Thankfully, the creators of Growing pains figured out that would never last and gave the show its own unique format. But which one is superior?
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